The long dragging bid by telecom investors to acquire 9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat, Nigeria, is almost coming to conclusion. Nigeria’s Teleology Holdings, has made a significant move closer to acquiring the fourth largest telecom operator. Teleology recently made a non-refundable deposit of $50 million as prerequisite paying to buy off the company.

This was in response to the request of Barclays Africa and Nigeria’s telecom regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), who are overseeing the bidding process.

Nigeria’s Teleology Holdings Limited Finally Acquires 9Mobile
Teleology recently made a non-refundable deposit of $50 million as prerequisite paying to buy off 9Mobile

The $50 million deposit represents tax that the NCC must collect. A final decision on whether or not to sell-off the telecoms firm to the bidder will then follow. Teleology Holdings will still have to pay $500 million within 90 days after winning the bid. This represents the purchase value of 9Mobile in terms of financial value.

Apart from fulfilling the financial requirements, Teleology will also need to meet certain conditions to definitively take control of 9Mobile. According to NCC, “the selected company must have the technical skills, beyond its financial capabilities, to strengthen 9Mobile and not aggravate its problems. The bidder (must) have substantial funds to improve the sector and not just to recycle fund facilities already in the economy… the company taking over should have adequate technical infrastructure in the field”.

About 9Mobile and Teleology Holdings

9Mobile is Etisalat’s rebranded name, the fourth largest mobile telecom firm in Nigeria. Etisalat adopted 9mobile, following the approval of NCC and confirmation by its successor company, Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited, EMTS.

Nigeria’s Teleology Holdings Limited Finally Acquires 9Mobile
9Mobile is Etisalat’s rebranded name, the fourth largest mobile telecom firm in Nigeria.

EMTS says, the rebranding is a testament to the company’s dynamism, responsiveness and agility as a business. This is coupled with its endeavour to leverage the power of technology to deliver innovative services to meet customers’ needs.

Chief Executive Officer, Boye Olusanya, notes that 9mobile, as a new trading name represents the firm’s “0809ja heritage,”. It also epitomizes “9ja-centricity”, and its “evolution over 9 years of operations in Nigeria.”

According to Mr. Olusanya, the change in Etisalat’s trading name does not, in any way, change the true values that anchors the company.

In 2013, Etisalat Nigeria, sourced a $1.2 billion syndicated loan from 13 local banks. Its inability to repay, forced lenders to take over the management, rebrand the company and put it up for sale.

Teleology Holdings is a private equity firm set up by 12 telecom industry veterans. MTN Nigeria’s pioneer CEO Adrian Wood, currently heads Teleology.

The company is reportedly Wood’s conception and some Nigerian investors, solely to revive the embattled 9mobile. Teleology currently manages over $11 billion in portfolio investments. Mr Wood is also CEO of Brymedia, West Africa Limited and a Cambridge and Harvard Universities graduate of Economics.

Teleology Holdings partnership and reinforcements

Teleology appears determined to complete balance payment of the $500 million bid price of 9Mobile. It is also focusing on transforming the company for healthy competition in the Nigerian telecoms market. Based on these and mindful of the need to meet necessary requirements for complete takeover, it is partnering with Safaricom. Safaricom is the biggest telecoms operator in East Africa.

Nigeria’s Teleology Holdings Limited Finally Acquires 9Mobile
9mobile is partnering with Safaricom, East Africa’s largest telco

The CEO Adrian Wood, has also announced the reinforcement of the company’s network through the deployment of new 3G/4G telecom stations. It is also providing rural areas with broadband Internet and the installation of several thousand kilometers of optical fiber.

The partnership, reinforcements, and the viability of the Nigerian telecommunications market are ingredients for 9mobile’s success. It wouldn’t be surprising therefore to hear that Teleology Holdings limited has recovered its $500 million investment in no time. What is required is just an effective, result oriented and prudent managerial system.


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